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Traffic congestion slices Business production downunder

posted 6 Sept 2012, 05:58 by Lucky Systems   [ updated 3 Dec 2013, 06:23 by Arwee Manigluck ]

Traffic congestion is beginning to bite Perth businesses, slicing into profits and productivity and putting jobs at risk.

A survey of 400 Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA members and RAC customers found two in five companies were turning down work because of congestion.

Estimates on the cost of congestion ranged from $200 to more than $1 million, averaging about $20,000.

The costs were in fuel, overtime and lost business and productivity.

"If we factor in time lost due to traffic in our tenders, we are commercially uneconomic and we lose the tender," one company said.

Another business said: "We need to employ more staff to complete the same task. In some case, we drop 50 per cent productivity as we cannot schedule to complete two loads in one day."

The survey also found congestion was starting to affect workers' health and wellbeing.

Businesses reported increased stress and fatigue, a decline in punctuality, increased counselling for poor worker behaviour and an increase in errors.

Of particular concern were the safety implications for drivers spending longer on the road.

"Staff are coming in at 6.30am instead of 8am and leaving after 6pm just to miss the traffic," one respondent said. "Employee fatigue is on the increase, resulting in an increase in errors and decrease in work-life balance." Despite the growing problem, 71 per cent of respondents said they were "not at all confident" that State and Federal governments had adequate plans to fight congestion.

"We feel the road infrastructure is lagging behind business needs by about five years," one firm said.

Chamber chief executive James Pearson said the results showed the need for urgent action on congestion, which was adding to the high cost of doing business in WA.

"It's not just an extra five minutes caught in traffic," Mr Pearson said. "These results show that congestion is hurting employers and their staff, increasing costs and dragging down productivity."

RAC president Tim Shanahan said the survey showed congestion no longer had just a social impact on commuters. "It is clear WA businesses are now at breaking point," he said.

Personal Assistant Hayley Jones Aqua Team,  
Central Insurance Brokers, South Perth W.A. 

Our office (South Perth), has workers, approx 25, driving in from all over the metro area, 
some endure the daily migration from Rockingham area which means and time lag of 2 to 3 hours per day.

That much time locked down can have severe implications to office productivity let alone person stress and "road rage", our office is being pro active and reviewing options as well as Portability where staff can use technology to connect with the office server and telephone system to function like a "S.O.H.O." (small office / home office).

Effectively if means we are "online" from home (phone an computer) instead of in a traffic jam,
and then when the traffic is passive we can transfer to the office with minimal delay. 

It's really quite easy to S.O.H.O. or mobile 

The range of technology is well within reach of S.M.E. starting with simple low cost technology such as 
  • basic IPAD, 
  • Broadband connection, 
  • free app to connect to the office server and 
  • free app to connect our office line with SKYPE for Business. 

We've already introduced "Skype for business" with great success (and huge savings) so we are ready to advance to the next step, it's really about "team collaboration" and keeping the focus to the key company priorities of seamless customer service.